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Where would you Splurge ?

I am coming to NYC and want to have at least one dinner splurge while there. I am considering Daniel or Babo. I am open to all suggestions for an upscale dinner - and that does not mean that I just want to throw money around - I want quality and am willing to pay for it. What would you consider the most worthy splurge in NYC? What place knocks your socks off? Thanks for your suggestions.

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  1. le bernadin, tasting menu. pretty pricey splurge. daniel would set you back about the same amount. babbo is a bit more economical.

    1. Thanks jungirl. Yes, Le Bernadin sounds like an excellent choice.

      Someone at work said to try Cafe De Artist. Anyone ever heard of it and recommend it?

      2 Replies
      1. re: sunsuze

        I've only been to Cafe des Artistes once for brunch/lunch, and that was a couple of years ago, but I found the food to be pretty mediocre. I haven't heard anything since that's made me want to rush back.

        1. re: Lucia

          I would recommend Jean-George or Daniel, then Babbo. Le Bernardin was too gilded for my taste, but I found Daniel's atmosphere very comfortable. Cafe Des Artistes is no where near the other places. I've never felt a desire to go back and wished that I hadn't. It's dark, old, and the food is too conventional.

      2. Babbo for dinner is a great selection and very reasonably priced ($70 for the traditional tasting menu). Le Bernardin is a fantastic restaurant best visited for lunch ($55?).

          1. Des Artistes is fun old new york type of place but I would go to Le Bernadin or Babbo way earlier.

            1. I would recommend any of the following restaurants for a "splurge": Aureole, Bouley, or Danube.

              1. Morimoto tasting menu.

                  1. Cru. Chef's tasting with wine pairing. No question.

                    1. Only truly unique eating experience in NYC (bring $) MASA in Time Warner building.

                      1. "Only truly unique eating experience in NYC (bring $) MASA in Time Warner building". Masa looks great but isn't totally unique to NYC as his old place in LA is still there, now called Urasawa, and run by his former assistant. It's fantastic.

                        1. Cafe Des Artistes has cute murals, but that's about it. I always advise against Daniel - unless you are known to the restaurant you have a high risk of spending a lot of money while being quickly and efficiently processed through a facsimile of a high end dining experience: it's just too big and too busy.

                          The best splurge places are Alain Ducasse, Per Se if you can get in, or Jean-Georges. Recent contenders are Gilt and Eleven Madison Park. Le Bernardin is not my favorite, but go if you like fish.

                          1. WD-50. Unlike any of the others listed. Also, for the most part not as expensive.

                            1. My listings in no particular order. Included is the chef's tasting menu price & number of courses.

                              Daniel for sublime service and food in elegant surroundings (8 courses $225)

                              Gramercy Tavern if you want to be treated like a Rock Star in a comfortable setting (7 courses $95)

                              Per Se if you can't get to the the French Laundry (9 courses + bonus tastes for $210)

                              Masa if you want to die knowing you've had the most perfect piece of sushi ever created ($350, courses at the chef's whim)

                              Le Bernardin for the best seafood ever caught and prepared (8 courses $155)

                              Alain Ducasse if you want a quintessentially high-end French experience (5 courses $225)

                              WD-50 if you want to know what all of the above will be serving in 15 years (9 courses - $105)

                              1. I agree with all of you...we're picking the top restaurants in the city here...but if I were to truly splurge...then I would get one of these guys to come to my apartment and cook!

                                Aside from that, chef's box at Daniel. That little room in the kitchen that he stares out of down into his kitchen also serves for the few privileged people. Something like $1,000 a person? Someone correct me if I'm wrong...

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: anon646

                                  The "skybox" - yes. But it's booked very far in advance. Menus START at $1,000.
                                  Check out last year's Best of NY listings for other private dining spaces:

                                2. For my special occasions....I always go to Chanterelle...One of my favorite restaurants anywhere... Intimate, refined, pretty room...unreal and understated service, and fantastic prix fixe dinners. Only negative...jackets required and difficulty w/ getting prime reservations.

                                  1. I lived for a while in Paris, and because of that, unfortunately, I find that almost all of the French restaurants in NYC pale in comparison. Daniel, Jean-Georges, Alain Ducasse, Per Se, Bouley, etc. all have been disappointing. But Le Bernardin, with its fresh and wonderful seafood, has been delicious. I would vote for Le Bernardin!

                                    But otherwise, I would say that if you're going to splurge on one meal in this city, go for something other than French. Maybe Craft?

                                    1. if you want sushi, go to Sushi of Gari on the East side. ask for the chef's omakase off the menu. the chef prepares each individual piece with different garnishes / sauces. Its a truly amazing experience. Each piece is like a whole new meal. the anago eel is great, the purple shrimp with roe is amazing, the seared foie gras, yum. expect to spend about $80 for 7 pieces. trust me, its worth it.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: jungirl

                                        My suggestions would be either Le Bernadin, especially if your a seafood lover or Cru's tasting menu w/ the wine pairing. Those are my two favorite dining experiences I have had.

                                      2. Jewel Bako. The Sushi there is amazing & the tasting menu will blow you away!

                                        1. Or, hey, for something more "New York," go to a steakhouse. Spark's is fantastic.

                                          1. I once did lunch for two at Kuruma Zushi-47th and Mad-only $800. But I have saved thousands of dollars since because virtually all other sushi I would have wasted my money on tastes lousy in comparison!

                                            1. Le Bernardin...perfect. Per Se....yawn. looking at the list...how about apertif's at Cafe des Artistes....very sexy room but I really can't remember the food being that fabulous. LMF